4th World

1 June 2019Review

Verso; 2019; 320pp; £16.99

‘This is a war story.’

Thus begins Nick Estes’ historical recounting of the survival of – and the resistance waged by – Native American people, the ‘first sovereigns’ of – and the ‘oldest political authority’ in – America.

US history saw the first white settlers attempt to ‘permanently and completely replace Natives with a settler population’. This is a war that continues to rage to this day, as seen in the horrific police violence against Native Americans fighting to resist…

1 October 2018Review

OR Books, 2018; 366pp; £13, available to purchase online here

The title of this book refers to a line in Mike Marqusee’s poem ‘Egypt’. In it, Egyptian people are filling a public square, presumably Cairo’s Tahrir Square, their images captured on TV. Much like a dream, Marqusee writes, what is happening is ‘turbulent and calm, much wished for, full of surprise.’ But unlike a dream, this is a revolution that will leave ‘definable traces in the atmosphere, like incense.’ He concludes: ‘I know this is not a dream because like a dream / everything is…

1 April 2017News

Indigenous struggle over pipeline continues

On 7 March, a US district judge refused the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s attempt to stop oil flowing through a part of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) near their reservation.

The Sioux thought they had won on 4 December when the US army corps of engineers stopped construction of DAPL for alternative routes to be considered. Then, on 24 January, US president Donald Trump signed an executive decree ordering the secretary of the army to expedite approval of the pipeline – without a…

1 August 2016Review

Zed Books, 2015; 336pp; £18.99

As a call for collective liberation against systemic forms of oppression, solidarity remains one of the left’s most powerful and enduring ideas. However, while the notion has been mobilised by a wide range of activist struggles over the centuries, this has often occurred without a clear articulation of what it means in practice.

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of critiques and studies examining what it means to be an ally and how one goes about effective solidarity…

1 September 2013News

Yaqui nation takes action over water rights

On 9 July, the Mexican indigenous national congress, in conjunction with the Zapatistas, issued a statement of solidarity and support for the people of the Yaqui nation, who have been blockading an international motorway to Arizona in the US. 

The Yaqui River valley, in Sonora, northern Mexico, is the ancestral home of the indigenous Yaqui tribe, and their ancestral source of water. In 2010, the state governor launched the ‘Independence Aqueduct’ project, designed to extract 75…

1 September 2011Review

9/11 (Seven Stories Press 2011, rev. ed. 176pp, £8.99); Power and Terror: Conflict, Hegemony and the Rule of Force (Pluto 2011, rev. ed., 224pp, £12.99); New World of Indigenous Resistance: Noam Chomsky and voices from North, South and Central America (City Lights Books 2010, 416pp, £17.99)  

Asked days after the 11 September 2001 attacks if US president George W Bush’s “war on terror” was winnable, Noam Chomsky responded: “If we want to consider this question seriously, we should recognise that in much of the world the US is regarded as a leading terrorist state, and with good reason. We might bear in mind, for example, that in 1986 the US was condemned by the World Court for ‘unlawful use of force’ (international terrorism) and then vetoed a Security Council resolution calling…

24 January 2010Blog

<p>Milan Rai reports from the WRI Triennial in India</p>

The breaking news just doesn’t stop.

After lunch yesterday (23 January) we broke up for workshops. For some reason we had two workshop slots of differing lengths, and there was also the option for many of them of continuing the workshop after the break. The first slot (2 hours) I went to hear Bela Bhatia talking about the conflict in the state of Chhattisgarh, where police and Maoists are fighting a vicious war in a tribal area. (Tribal people are known as “adivasis” or “earliest/…

24 January 2010Blog

Milan Rai reports from the WRI Triennial in India

Can international conferences like this be justified? Lots of my friends think not. I have breaking news from Peace News on this score – the survey they dared not print. Well, no one has not dared to print it, actually, but it dramatises the story.

Earlier today, in the morning plenary session, we had a searing moment which really made the whole thing worthwhile. We had two plenary speakers. One was Samarendra Das, who has been working for 16 years with poor communities facing…

1 January 2001Review

Yombo 2000, 74 mins. See http://www.survival-international.org

This fundraiser CD for Survival -the campaign group supporting tribal people - makes very easy listening. Billed as “A fusion of chilled tribal beats, ambient dub and trance music”, it certainly is!

While it has several tracks from famous artists, such as Leftfield, and Banco de Gaia, it also showcases less well-known performers, and all cite tribal influences in their music.

Basically it starts off very chilled, builds up to a more busy and dancey middle section - with tracks…